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Weighing the Pros and Cons of Staying Another Year in China

日期: 2017-06-07
浏览次数: 19
来源: Leanne Overby

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Staying Another Year in China

Beating the heat in the heart of downtown at the Hilton Shenzhen Futian


The time has come for us expats to take pause from our blissful existence and face a reality that is coming at us faster than a speeding bullet: it's time to decide our next move. It's easier said than done, especially for us wanderlust folk who are constantly in conflict between the vagabond lifestyle and a little bit of stability.


Here's the good news: you are not alone. This roller coaster of emotion and indecisiveness you're riding knows no boundaries, and it's at max capacity with a never ending line. 


As someone who's finally getting off the “stay or go?” ride for the interim, I'd like to share how I came to make my decision to stay another year in Shenzhen. It wasn't fun (wine made it easier), but I got where I needed to be and one day soon you will too. 


First things first — bust out that legal pad and start a pros and cons list. My friends and I have spent ample time discussing the pros and cons of our next moves, which is a great start, but once it's actually on paper it becomes more substantial. Plus, you can make adjustments as needed without forgetting your original thoughts. 


Secondly, write out a list of questions and considerations, and then answer them out loud and as honestly as you can. Sometimes you need to hear the words coming out of your own mouth to find out how you really feel. Do this alone so you don't hold back and are comfortable to truly let your guard down. Here's a sample list of questions to get you started:


1.Am I happy where I am right now? 

2.What is my career goal? Is it teaching? Could it be? 

3.If I continue to teach abroad, do I want to stay in China? Where else would I like to live and teach?

4.What do I want in life? Do I want to travel for a few years? Start a family? What are my timelines for this, and can I do it all?

5.If I move home, where will I live?

6.If I move home, what will I do? Where will I work?

7.If I move home, will I need to go back to school to find a job that makes me happy? Can I afford that?

8.Do I want to go home? Am I feeling pressure from family or other relationships to move home before I am ready?

9.Can I afford to go somewhere else for a year? If considering a teaching position elsewhere, how does the package compare (pay, savings, vacation time, and perks) with China? If my goal is to travel, do I have enough money saved to actually go?

10.What would staying in China do for me? (Think about your personal goals – financial, career, travel, fitness, etc.).

11.How have I changed since coming to China? Am I happy with those changes?


Last step of the process — spend time reflecting. Lots of time. Discuss your findings with friends and family. Your friends will most likely validate your human versus self-conflict resolution capabilities, but your family may be indifferent. It's hard for people outside of the traveler lifestyle to truly understand it, and they probably just miss you and want you to come home. Take comfort in that, but don't lose focus and don't let guilt spin you around or change your mind. 


So there you have it.  Solemn advice to keep in your back pocket as you make your way to the inevitable fork in the road. I hope my advice has helped you in some way, and whatever choice you make leads you exactly where you want to be. 


权衡在中国再住一年的利弊


Weighing the Pros and Cons of Staying Another Year in China

在深圳福田中心区的希尔顿酒店,琳尼泡在泳池里消暑


对我们外国人来说,现在必须得暂停一下我们花天酒地的生活,面对一个直击而来的问题:是时候做好下一步打算了。但这说起来容易作起来难,尤其是像我们这类嗜好旅行的人,总是处在一种既渴望随处流浪又希望有一点稳定生活的矛盾之中。

我这儿有条好消息:不只是你在面对这种问题。你正在经历的这种情绪上的大起大落好像没有界限,而且感觉“根本停不下来”。

在我们中的一些人已经暂停了“走还是留?”的内心挣扎的同时,我非常乐意跟大家分享我是如何做出在深圳再呆一年的决定的。这种做法一点也不好玩(喝点葡萄酒能好过一点),不过至少我知道了我该到哪里去,不久的某一天,你也会用上这招的。

首先你得做的——就是扯出一张便笺纸然后列出所有的好处和坏处。我和我朋友们花了足够的时间去讨论我们下一步打算的利弊,这是一个不错的开始;但一旦把这些内容写在纸上,它就变成了一套长篇大论。对了,假如你还没忘记你的初衷的话,你可以做一些适当的调整。


接下来,你得罗列出你的疑问和顾虑,接着尽量诚实地、大声地答出你的想法。有时你就是得通过你自己说出来的想法来了解你自己的感受。你得独自一人完成这件事,这样你才能真正地卸下自我防备不至于畏首畏尾,感到畅快。这里我列出了一些问题作为例子,你们可以从这些开始:


1.我在现在住的地方过得开心吗?

2.我的事业目标是什么?是教学吗?我现在的这种算吗?

3.假如我还想在海外教书的话,我还想继续呆在中国吗?还是我想去别的什么地方教书和生活?

4.我想要一种怎样的生活呢?是想自己继续旅行几年?还是开始组建家庭?那我什么时候该做这些事情,我能都做吗?

5.假如我搬回家了,我能住在哪?

6.假如我搬回家了,我能做什么工作?我得去哪工作?

7.假如我搬回家了,为了找一份令我开心的工作,我需要回学校进修吗?我能负担得起那笔钱吗?

8.我真的想回家吗?在我真准备好回家以前,是因为感受到来自家人或其他人的压力才这么做的吗?

9.我负担得起去其他地方再呆一年的费用吗?如果考虑在其他地方的教职的话,和在中国的收入对比如何(开销、存款、假期时间和补贴等)?如果我的目的是旅行,我是否存有足够的钱让我真能出发?

10.我呆在中国究竟是为了什么?(想想你的个人目标:经济的、事业的、旅行的、健身的等等)

11.自从我来到中国后,我都经历了怎样的变化?对于这些变化,我乐于接受吗?


最后一步——花些时间进行反思。花大量的时间。和你的朋友和家人讨论你的答案。你的朋友极有可能会验证你在解决自身矛盾上的能力,但你的家人可根本不管这些。对那些没经历过长期旅行的人来说,很难真正理解你的想法,而且他们可能只是想你了并一心想让你回家。这种情况适应了就好,不要忘记你的目标,也不要被这种离家的负罪感搞得晕头转向甚至改变你的初衷。

现在你都明白了。这些深思熟虑的建议会一直伴你左右直到你通过那不可避免的岔路口。我希望我的建议对你有所帮助,也祝你无论做出怎样的选择,都会实现你的梦想。




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